ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

h

Nominate now the Building of the Year 2017 »

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Houses
  4. Russia
  5. Konstantin Melnikov
  6. 1929
  7. AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov
AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov, © Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov

© Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov © Denis Esakov +33

© Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov

From the architect. The Melnikov House by architect Konstantin Melnikov is a classic residence that represents the forefront of the 1920’s Russian avant-garde. Located on Krivoarbatsky Lane in the then trendy district of Arbat, Moscow on an open lot, its aesthetics differ dramatically from traditional Soviet residential architecture. More details after the break.

© Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov

Trained at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, his expressionistic approach to design was the source of much acclaim in his short-lived career as an architect. The majority of his work was constructed between 1923 and 1933, of which his personal residence is arguably his best and most innovative work. Melnikov was one of only a few people who had been able to retain their land following the fall of Lenin’s New Economic Policy. Even more surprising is the approval of his design by city planners, as it was completely unconventional in an era when uniformity was the de facto solution. 

The concept evolved from his schematic draft for the Zuev Workers Club. It features two interlocking cylindrical volumes standing three stories high with enough space to house his family, and his painting and architectural studio spaces.

Floor Plans
Floor Plans

During the time of construction, significant rationing of materials by the state was commonplace. Thus, Melnikov incorporated an efficient typology for constructing the structure with limited resources, whilst simultaneously allowing him the opportunity to carry out his creative vision. Reasoning for the cylindrical shape was founded in his belief that they provided for an economy of material. The first cylindrical volume sitting slightly lower in height than the rear cylinder faces the street and features a glazed curtain wall incorporating the main entry. Located in the rear is the iconic portion of the house with numerous hexagonal windows perforating the façade. Exterior walls finished with white plaster are constructed in a honeycomb latticework using local brick, similar to the method pioneered by Vladimir Shukhov in 1896 using metal. This method employed minimal material while ensuring an efficient and rigid structure. The shapes of the windows are a direct result of the honeycomb structure, with the angles determined by quarter lengths of the standard local bricks. 

Building Section
Building Section

Nearly 60 hexagonal windows employing nine types of frames establish the aesthetic quality of the rear cylinder, showering the interior with light. The manner of structure and glazing system employed also eliminated the need for structural lintels or sills. Voids that were not glazed in the honeycomb structure were filled with clay and scraps, adding mass to a wall system that helps to mitigate the extreme temperature differentials of summer and winter. Interior spaces are allowed to run the full diameter uninterrupted, as the exterior walls function as the load bearing members. Melnikov also employed an innovative technique for a self-reinforcing orthotropic wooden plank flooring system, absentee of any internal column support.

Interior layout functions efficiently, with the majority of living spaces such as kitchen and bathroom located on the main floor. An upward spiral of movement exposes the diversity of spaces from low height ground plane, to a double height studio space and rooftop terrace. A winding staircase leads to the second floor where the bedrooms and living room are located. Interestingly, the bedrooms located in the rear portion are not entirely separated from each other. Rather, Melnikov delineates space through partial walls that serve to define specific areas, while maintaining a quasi-open plan that allows sunlight to flood the interior. 

The third floor houses his studio space in a double height room in the rear cylinder. Visually distinct from the others, this double height space is embraced by light penetrating through the numerous hexagonal windows. This space defines and lends credence to his ability to create experiential spaces that employ non-materials – light and shadow – in the overall design.

Unfortunately for Konstantin, his right to practice architecture was denied in 1937 at the First All-Union Congress of Soviet Architects. However, his residence remains an iconic symbol of the Russian avant-garde with its original floor plan and innovative construction techniques.

© Denis Esakov
© Denis Esakov
Cite: Tim Winstanley. "AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov" 14 Jun 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/151567/ad-classics-melnikov-house-konstantin-melnikov/>
Read comments

49 Comments

Sharon · August 14, 2015

Hello, I am potentially interested in using the black and white aerial image above. I'm not sure who owns the copyright? Please can you contact me srycroft@truenorth.tv
Kind regards
Sharon

auntie · September 07, 2012

nice.
even though it's full of cracks in the ceiling.

sanja mitash · July 31, 2012

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov | ArchDaily http://t.co/1Sz5ML4w via @archdaily

Anthony · July 21, 2012

Iconic Melnikov House, Moscow designed by Constructivist inspired Konstantin Melnikov: http://t.co/WGIO16Hu

Miguel Barahona · June 19, 2012

la casa de Melnikov está sobrevalorada http://t.co/EB5sjuYi

Miljan Cvijeti? · June 16, 2012

This was always one of my favorites

Zainab Gaafar · June 16, 2012

http://t.co/XPH58aI9 via @archdaily

James Killough · June 15, 2012

One of the ugliest structures I&#39ve ever seen, yet so interesting. "Jolie laide" architecture? http://t.co/m8nIbPah via @archdaily

Karissa Rosenfield · June 15, 2012

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/0o7YcxGJ via @archdaily

Curves 'Graph · June 14, 2012

Via @ArchDaily - AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/405o3TWq #architecture

saman · June 09, 2012

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/PC96mRCt via @archdaily

Efrain Fajardo · January 26, 2012

http://t.co/jYPOEs78 #diseñoiteso les comparto mi casa favorita, del arquitecto #Melnikov

Alla · August 21, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov | ArchDaily http://t.co/mSWlGDW via @archdaily

Alla · August 21, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov | ArchDaily http://t.co/mSWlGDW via @archdaily

Jorge FSantos · August 17, 2011

A casinha do Melnikov ... só pra quem tem aversão a mesmice - http://t.co/qXoUlXw via @archdaily

op · August 16, 2011

brilliant

RS_Barros · August 15, 2011

Uma construção dos anos 20 muito interessante - AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov - http://t.co/Z5KDKP0

EvoUrbanism · August 15, 2011

Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov

http://t.co/z9PAKsA

Doug Wittnebel · August 15, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/il8D0O4

Bobby · August 15, 2011

Mogen wij in zo&#39n huis wonen, helemaal onze smaak: http://t.co/NY21dNO

Christopher · August 14, 2011

Melnikov House http://t.co/qna5Wnb

Anton A. Repin · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/663YBfw

Roberlan Borges · August 14, 2011

Muito legal essa casa http://t.co/540YLVU

Nicholas Patten · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House. http://t.co/LsJudpe

Yusuke Kashiwagi · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/XWRBh7F

yasushi nakamura · August 14, 2011

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov| http://t.co/BbLyUZU via @archdaily

Manuel Gonzalez ?. · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/AMTESMk

???? · August 14, 2011
watabetakahiro · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/XkKxCH9

Marisa Martín · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov | ArchDaily http://t.co/2RAv0mV via @archdaily

Monica H. Guzman · August 14, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/ooMj7LI #architecture

him + her · August 14, 2011

Architecture AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov: The Melnikov House by architect Ko... http://bit.ly/oi1r95 #architecture

Adhie Indreswara · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov via ArchDaily - © www.flickr.com / llatpic The ... http://t.co/3GgTSMS

Barry Maguire · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov via ArchDaily - © www.flickr.com / llatpic The ... http://t.co/SRWbJkX

Arno M · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov | ArchDaily http://t.co/RKz0PBb via @archdaily

Archifront · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov: © www.flickr.com / llatpic The Melnikov… http://t.co/TtDYWPz

Piropos · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/nmmJyDg #architecture

GR2TF · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov: © www.flickr.com / llatpicThe Melnikov House by architect Kon... http://t.co/2aaagl0

Frederico lucenno · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov - The Melnikov House by architect Konstantin Melnikov is a classic... http://t.co/jz2NEIt

Jeriah Lau · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/9hb5pQW #architecture

arch_related · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov: © www.flickr.com / llatpicThe Melnikov House by architect Kon... http://t.co/hdCduv8

@ArchiStream · August 14, 2011

via @archdaily AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov http://t.co/LYWIEvR #Architecture

Archibuilt 2010 · August 14, 2011

Archi. Spotlight: AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov: The Melnikov House by architect Konstantin ... http://t.co/ynrsdhT

Adam will · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov: The Melnikov House by architect Konstantin Melnikov is a clas... http://t.co/IwqfkDf

Archiburner · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov: The Melnikov House by architect Konstantin Meln... http://t.co/3YWd6Qw #architecture

cajadesastre · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov: The Melnikov House by architect Konstantin Meln... http://t.co/ojPEzKf #architecture

Mr.Con · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov: The Melnikov House by architect Konstantin Melnikov is a clas... http://t.co/qdueH1n

Renato Papa · August 14, 2011

AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov: The Melnikov House by architect Konstantin Melnikov is a clas... http://t.co/0Onw6eX

Architekt R V Scholz · August 14, 2011

#architekt #Cottbus AD Classics: Melnikov House / Konstantin Melnikov: The Melnikov House b... http://t.co/dBEhJXj #in http://dy.cx/c03

···

Comments are closed

Read comments